The 2019 is coming to an end slowly but surely. The days are getting shorter, it’s getting much nastier outside than it used to be weeks ago. As I’m writing this, it’s raining cats and dogs outside and nobody would get me on a golf course right now.
Unless fall is showing up again with a lovely October or we spontaneously decide to leave for a break to the southern hemisphere, the proper rounds I’m going to play are coming to phase out for this year (unfortunately).
Perfect timing to plan for next year!
As some of you might know, throughout the year I’m playing a Deutsche Bank tournament series which brings me to lovely courses here in the region, including:
…and many others.
For recreational golf, without any tournament pressure, I created a list of German golf courses which I plan to play in 2020:
- München Eichenried
- München Aschheim
- Gut Kaden
- Weimarer Land
- St. Leon-Rot
- Stuttgart Solitude
As you see, these are spread all over Germany. Some in the north, some in the south-east, some in the south-west, in the west, in the east—so pretty much all over the country. And even though this means a lot of driving, I can’t wait for some to play (some for the first time).
The start of the year has been really slow and unusually quiet in regards to golf for me. As a dad it’s tricky to carve out hours and hours on the course and be as competitive as possible at the same time.
Time is more precious for me, so golf has to be even more efficient. German efficiency, you know what I’m talking about.
I have some range sessions in the books now, not a single golf hole played unfortunately and already cancelled a tournament due to lack of playing experience in this young season.
Yesterday I spent some time out on the range to make some progress.
- Chipping went very smooth and I went from lob wedge all the way up to 7 iron to spec out my preferred feel and distance. Pretty sure pitching wedge and 9 iron are the ones I will play around greens this year for standard lies.
- For pitching I was playing around with some different ball positions in standard stance. Really happy with one new position I found which made the ball go up in the air quicker and still get the pace I wanted.
- Short irons were straight and crisp.
- Long irons were doing better due to multiple little changes.
- OK, now to the problematic part of my bag: The hybrid and woods. For years I struggled with rather low ball flight and a tendency to the left. The right-to-left ball flight I could live with for years but still wanted to sport other curves as well. I practiced a more outside-inside swing characteristic and was able to play high fades as well. In terms of ball position I’m still not sure but what I successfully managed was to create a new grip that seems to work very well. Balls have the tendency to go much straighter and much higher now as my address to the ball is different, too. Fingers crossed that wasn’t a one hit wonder.
The handicap is supposed to go down this year. Wish me luck! I keep you posted.
Finally I managed to kick off my 2019 season. It’s late March, weather has been nice at times but in the mornings I still have to free my car from ice due to minus degrees overnight.
Until I own a property in the Mediterranean some day and could golf all year round, I guess I’m forced to start my season not earlier than March. Temperatures still are quite fluctuating and hence the weather is a bit unpredictable and therefore not optimal for a start into the year.
This may sound a bit whiny, but… yeah, it does sound whiny, doesn’t it. Point taken.
Anyway, on the weekend I kicked off with my first range session of 2019. And I have to report that I was pretty happy about the performance. Not that I expected that I lost it all, but generally everything was working pretty much, similar to last year.
Short game touch was there, mid-irons were on point, fades and draws were identifiable, and even my ever problematic long game was not too shabby.
Long story short, I’m looking forward to a successful new season. Can’t wait to get 18 holes in soon and pick my game up from there.
Wish me luck.
Season prep is in full swing. While it’s still cold around here, and I’m actually on a short ski break at the moment, I did my bit already to get the season ready for 2019:
Clubs are cleaned, put in the carry bag for the early-year practice, shoes are cleaned (three new pairs of golf kicks put on the Amazon wishlist too), rain gear packed, hats sorted, markers, pencils, tees and gloves put aside and new dozen of Titleist’s Tour Softs as well.
2019 will be the second season I’ll play my PING G400 clubs; 4 wedges, 4-9, hybrid, 3- and 5-wood plus driver.
This season however I want to see some real progress in terms of playing abilities, but seriously who doesn’t. Have to get out on the range rather sooner than later. The first session is planned for next week, followed by some heavy pracice and finally the first round of golf by end of April.
I’m already enrolled for 5 tournaments this year, more to come, but this keeps up the pressure – in a good sense.
Another preparation to the season 2019 has to be up-to-date with the new golf rules. Obviously the new golf rules were introduced for the recreational player in order to speed up the game, which I indeed appreciate. It’s just that these rules (or at least some of them) should not be applied for the pro tours if you ask me. It’s still a weird picture to see top players leaving the flag in for a short putt. Not sure I like that…
The year 2019 is two months old, Germany and basically the most part of Europe is cold, rainy and unpredicatable. It’s time we see some major improvements in the temperature!
Some golf nuts are already practising for the new season, some courses opened their summer greens and more or less everybody is waiting for the spring and summer time to get out on a more regular basis and play.
I don’t know about you, I need sunshine for a round I enjoy.
This picture shows Kronberg Golf und Land Club, the club house, hotel and restaurant of a local club, where I tend to play once or twice a year. And it gets me into golf mood every time I pass the big entrance gates of the property – longing for better weather to kick off the golf season 2019.